Hatch Your Plans For Finding and Roasting Hatch Chiles in OC This Month

Categories: Food Festivals
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Dave Lieberman

It's Hatch chile season! If you've never had the long, green, hot cousins of the Anaheim chile that grow in southeastern New Mexico, now's the time to try them. They make awesome green chile, of course, fantastic Ortega burgers and they're sublime stuffed with cheese, battered and deep-fried.

Gustavo posted last week that there's been a drought; there are fewer chiles, they're hotter and they're more expensive than usual--none of which will keep chile heads away.

El Rey Farms up in Whittier has been bringing in Hatch chiles for eons; they set up at La Puente High School and churn huge lines of people through. They've sold out all but the last week of the season, and they're really expensive: $39 per 40-pound sack, plus a $13 fee for roasting.

If you're going to get the chiles roasted, though, you don't want the hassle of El Rey anyway; you want the Frieda's folks, who are importing and roasting Hatch chiles at various Ralphs throughout the county. I went to go buy forty pounds on Saturday at the Ralphs on 17th Street in Costa Mesa--the first roast of the season in OC--and there were maybe four people total in line. Since I wanted mine fresh, I didn't have to wait at all.

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Dave Lieberman
A fresh, hot Hatch chile, object of every New Mexican's food lust.
If you want your chiles roasted, it's cheaper to go to Frieda's; a sack of 30 pounds costs $29.99 and includes roasting if you want; if thirty pounds of fresh chiles is overwhelming to you, you can purchase 10 pounds for $16.99.

Albertsons in La Habra will be doing one roast in OC this year; a 30-pound sack is $34.99, including roasting.

Bristol Farms in Newport Beach will be roasting on Labor Day weekend; a 20-pound case is $35; you can purchase loose chiles for $1.79 a pound. A spokesman at Henry's/Sprouts in Laguna Niguel said there will not be a Hatch chile roast this year.

While none of the roasts have the bizarre set of lines and rules that the El Rey roasts do, show up earlier rather than later, because once the pallets of chiles are gone, that's it for the day. If you know of Hatch chile roastings that aren't listed, please let us know--we'd love nothing better than to get more Orange Countians hooked on these things.

August 20: Ralphs, 5241 Warner Ave., Huntington Beach; (714) 377-0024. 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
August 20: Albertsons, 1800 W. Whittier Blvd., La Habra; (562) 697-6442. 6 a.m.-noon.
August 27: Ralphs, 13321 Jamboree Rd., Tustin; (714) 544-0491. 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
September 3: Bristol Farms, 810 Avocado Ave., Newport Beach; (949) 760-6514. 8 a.m.-2 p.m.
September 4: Bristol Farms, 810 Avocado Ave., Newport Beach; (949) 760-6514. 8 a.m.-2 p.m.

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8 comments
teri96
teri96

Melissa's produce will be roasting at roe restaurant and fish market in Belmont Shore at 10am, September 2. Hope to see you there.

Robert
Robert

Looking for exciting Melissa's New Mexico Hatch Chile Roasting in Southern California, Las Vegas, NY, VA or MD - It's an exciting time of the year for roasting these chiles:

Melissa's Hatch Chile Roastings:http://www.melissas.com/Produc...

See a video of chef Ida talking all about Hatch Chiles:http://www.melissas.com/Recipe...

Dr Endo
Dr Endo

It's true that El Rey can be confusing sometimes. On the other hand, this year I stood in one very short line and was in and out in about 20 minutes. El Rey's chiles are really fresh and the roasting is done right. I've had mixed success with the grocery stores with some not-so-fresh chiles and some amateurish roasting. The price for fresh chiles is the same between El Rey and Frieda's (well if you want to get nit-picky El Rey is a tiny bit less) and as someone who lived in New Mexico for 15 years I'm selective about my roasting so I'm willing to pay once a year to get it right.

DanGarion
DanGarion

So what do you do with the chiles?  Can them? Have any recipes? I was contemplating getting a thing of them, I just wasn't sure what exactly I would do with them yet.

mitch young
mitch young

I usualy suck them off. I have frozen them before and it was a lil to cold to slide up the culo

zach
zach

I freeze them.   Use for Chili Verde, chopped on dogs/burgers, in eggs, stuffed etc etc. 

Dave Lieberman
Dave Lieberman

What Zach said. You could pickle them too... or stuff them with cheese for really hardcore chiles rellenos... but yeah.

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